Grand Bahama Tourism Begins Rebuilding After Hurricane

Grand Bahama TourismThe Bahamian Governor General at the Star Hotel in Grand Bahama.

Grand Bahama, particularly the island’s western end, was one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew earlier this month.

Now, the process of rebuilding has begun, as an assessment continues of the state of the island’s hotel infrastructure.

“We have to be honest about Grand Bahama because that’s the only way we can move forward,” said Bahamas Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe. “Tourism on the island has come to a grinding halt. Hotels, restaurants and tour operators have all been affected by Hurricane Matthew, but there is hope and Grand Bahamians are resilient. Everywhere you go on this island people are working. People are working on their homes; people are working at the hotels to fix those properties. Grand Bahama will rise again, better and stronger.”

Here’s the current state of the island’s hotel product, according to tourism officials:

Based on initial damage assessments, Viva Wyndham Fortuna said it expects to open on November 14.

Castaways, which had roof damage resulting in 32 rooms being out of order, remains open. The hotel has water, wifi and limited electricity.

Pelican Bay had minor roof damage to its conference center, which is currently being repaired. The property is taking corporate business and restoration teams only and is not open to leisure guests. Its restaurant, Sabor, is also open.

Work on Memories Resort is expected to begin soon and the company said in a statement released on Tuesday it is expected to open on December 10. Until then the 500 staff members will undergo extensive customer service retraining ahead of its proposed opening date.

The Grand Lucayan, which includes the Lighthouse Pointe and Breakers Cay, had water damage and roof damage. Lighthouse Pointe is expected to open November 7.

Flamingo Bay Resort had minor damage and is awaiting the restoration of power before opening.

Taino Beach Resort received extensive damage and officials there gave no timeframe for opening.

The Old Bahama Bay Resort sustained minimal damage and will open once power and water have been restored.

A team of workers are currently assessing the damage to the Ocean Reef Resort and no opening date has been given at this point.

Cruise lines have begun making adjustments, while Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is still carrying passengers to Freeport.